Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Riverview High kicker commits to Miami after arduous senior season

Stone Springman fought through a broken back to earn a spot with the Hurricanes.

Miami special teams Coach Marwan Maalouf and Stone Springman throw up "The U" hand gesture on Springman's visit to the school.
Miami special teams Coach Marwan Maalouf and Stone Springman throw up "The U" hand gesture on Springman's visit to the school.
Courtesy photo
  • Sarasota
  • Sports
  • Share

Stone Springman visualized his greatest moment. 

The Riverview High football team was facing a fourth and long from the Lehigh High 31-yard line. The teams were tied at 28 in the fourth quarter of their Sept. 16 contest; the Rams were up 21-0 before letting Lehigh back into the game via turnovers and other miscues. But all of that could be erased — or exacerbated — by the next play: either a fourth-down conversion attempt, which Riverview is not shy about trying, or a 48-yard field goal attempt from Springman. 

It wasn't an easy call. The game was being played in a light but steady rain, so the field was slick, and Springman, a senior, was returning from a broken vertebrate in his back, an injury he suffered in spring practice. It would be his first field goal attempt of the season. 

Either way, the decision was a risk. But in his mind, Springman saw himself making the kick. Slick grass and back injuries were not a concern to him. He knew he would come through.

Rams kicker Stone Springman committed to the University of Miami on April 13.
File photo

One look at his kicker, and Rams Coach Josh Smithers knew it, too. 

"Stone had that look in his eyes," Smithers said after the game. "He was excited to be back. I don't think there was anything that was going to stop him tonight." 

Springman nailed the kick, giving the Rams a 31-28 win. It was one of the bright spots in a challenging season for Springman, would would re-injure his back soon after and miss much of the year. But it was enough to prove to colleges what Springman could do in pressure situations and adverse conditions. 

On April 13, Springman's arduous year got a positive ending when he committed to the University of Miami. 

"(Hurricanes special teams Coach Marwan) Maaloof has been amazing through this whole process," Springman said. "Miami always is right back in touch. That's super rare with coaches. It's usually hit or miss. They are all about you one week and forget about you the next week. But they (the Hurricanes) have believed in me since I went to their camp."

Springman attended a Hurricanes camp, as well as other camps, in June 2022 — weeks after breaking his vertebrate in spring practice, though at the time, he didn't know it was broken. He kicked through the pain he felt and did well enough at the Miami camp to hold the Hurricanes' attention for the long term. But it was not easy. 

"By the end of each camp session I did, I would be hunched over on the ground, just trying not to die," Springman said with a laugh. "It was unbearable." 

Springman said once he officially found out his back was broken, he began telling colleges. Most wanted to wait and see how it healed before promising anything. 

Not Miami. 

"They said, 'If that's what you did with a broken back, then what can you do (healthy)?'" Springman said. "They didn't see it as a bad thing. They believe that I can come back and be even better." 

After re-injuring his back during the season, Springman has been taking things easy, following his doctor's orders and only restarting his training in February. He has slowly been building his kicking strength back since then, averaging 30-35 kicks per week; Springman said most healthy kickers do 70-80 per week, but after going through the year he did, he's taking his time getting to that point. The good news: his back feels 100%, he said. 

Springman said he's looking forward to proving himself again on the Hurricanes. It is something he's had to do his whole football career. Springman started his athletic career as a soccer player at Cherry Creek High in Greenwood Village, Colorado, before joining the school's junior varsity football team as a kicker his sophomore season. He had taken up field goal kicking out of boredom during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, he said, and wanted to see if he could replicate his success during games.

He did, and began working with kicking specialist Matt Thompson to improve as much as he could. Springman said having a soccer background helped him pick up the technique right away; there's more of a sweeping motion to football kicks, he said, but making that change felt natural. 

When Springman transferred to Riverview High for his junior year, he immediately won the varsity kicking job. He also started attending Kornblue Kicking camps to go against the best competition he could. Entering his senior season, Springman was rated a 4.5-star kicker by the service. As of April 18, he's ranked the No. 26 kicker on the service's "Fab 50" list of upperclassmen

Now healthy and with a home for the 2023 season, Springman's future appears bright — something that will not surprise witnesses to his 48-yard field goal against Lehigh.



Ryan Kohn

Ryan Kohn is the sports editor for Sarasota and East County and a Missouri School of Journalism graduate. He was born and raised in Olney, Maryland. His biggest inspirations are Wright Thompson and Alex Ovechkin. His strongest belief is that mint chip ice cream is unbeatable.

Latest News